Saginaw native Smith named Spirit Captain
Saginaw, Mich. – Prior to last night’s game against Flint, Spirit head coach Chris Lazary announced to his team that Saginaw native Mitchell Smith would finish the season as the team’s 23rd captain. In the team’s 21 year history, Smith becomes the first Saginaw native to wear the ‘C’.
“Well we’ve thought about it for a while,” said Lazary. “and [Saturday] night when Zayne Parekh gets hit and Smitty comes over right away and fights, I knew on the bench that was going to be the decision.”
In his first game as captain, Smith continued his tenacious play and productivity with a goal and an assist. The 20-year-old defenseman now has ten points (2G, 8A) in his last seven games.
“It’s pretty cool being the captain of my hometown team,” said Smith. “I never would have thought this would happen when I was coming to the games as a fan years ago.
Smith’s career with the Spirit began at the 2018 OHL draft, where he was a 5th round selection by the team he grew up watching. Since then, he’s skated in 181 regular season OHL games with the Spirit, accumulating 106 points (31G, 75A).
“It felt weird looking at my jersey with the ‘C’ on it when there isn’t one outright leader on our team,” said Smith. “We have a group that builds off each other and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
“He understands what I’m looking for as a coach, he understands what our culture is all about, now it’s his job here in his remaining games that when he does leave this organization, he leaves it in a better place,” said Lazary.
The Spirit and their new captain embark on a three-game road trip through the Eastern Conference that begins Thursday in Peterborough. With 11 games left in the season, Saginaw currently sits in 4th place in the Western Conference with a 30-24-2-1 record.
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